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Discussion Starter #1
Well I finally got some extruded foam for gravestones. Here in the South it appears the local places only sell it one inch thick, which is fine I can put adhesive between the layers. Once I have the designs done and monster mud on the exterior what does one use for the exterior painting, acrylic paint? Does that even last in the elements?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Monster Mud (I am assuming you're making it using outdoor latex house paint) is likely good enough for most applications, because the outdoor latex paint is made to protect exterior surfaces from weather/UV damage. And if you're lucky you can locate some cheaply from the "oops" section of hardware stores in colors that could work for you (off whites/grays). Don't forget to check out HabitForHumanity's ReStore too as they often have cans of cheap good paint.

Latex house paint is basically in the same family as acrylic paints in that they both are based on polymers that are water soluble when used, and then dry to a plastic like waterproof coating/surface. But you can have house paint tinted in store, buy smaller pints (and sometimes find them on super sale - Ace Hardware used to run some great sales) and it's cheaper considering the amount you can buy vs the little tubes/bottles of craft/artist quality acrylic paint. And again, if you're using it outside, house paint has protectants already built in that acrylic won't.

You can also go the extra step if you have stones you're particularly proud of and want to last by clear coating with a varnish. Likely any spray on clearcoat would add a layer of protection, but for displays that are out for long times in heavier weather, may want to consider looking at spar urethane, which is a clearcoat varnish meant for things like boats. This is a stronger protection for both weather and UV, but it does take some special care/longer cure time. You can find it at most hardware/big box stores (like Lowes/HD).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay so this is our first one. We have a long way to go, this was the first coat and first try at cutting. I think I am going to do one more coat before the dry brushing starts.

730405
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My God your lettering is amazing! how did you get it so perfect? It looks like it was cut with a laser.
The would be my SO and her infinite patience. We have several methods so far. What seems to work for her now is we print from a vector on to paper, sometimes spreading over multiple sheets just taped on. From there she uses a soldering iron and heats the paper over each letter, it is just enough to etch the foam. After that she either cuts it with an exacto knife or dremel, depending on the width. God if I had a CNC machine, that would be incredible.
 

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I use dry lock and then what ever gray latex paint I can find on the "Oops we screwed up" table at Lowes. I've got tombstones that are over 15 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Agree with JW, that lettering is amazing! Great effort for 1st gravestone.
We are going to probably make over 5. I think a good number will be 8 but some much shorter. We are taking our time and not rushing it, I want these to last for many years.
 

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Reef - please have your SO do a tutorial on this technique. This is seriously the best lettering I have ever seen and I am sure many others here would appreciate a lesson!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Reef - please have your SO do a tutorial on this technique. This is seriously the best lettering I have ever seen and I am sure many others here would appreciate a lesson!
Okay, I doubt she would do a video but she agreed to do pictures. We can do a step by step with pictures with good close-ups.
 
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